A solid wood door is constructed either from a solid wood slab or a frame and panel construction that uses natural wood. The latter is more common and uses either softwood or hardwood. This door construction is more commonly used for exterior doors for strength and security. It is 100 percent natural wood though only a few are made of unified slabs of wood.

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Solid wood versus solid core versus hollow core

Solid wood is often the most expensive among the three types of doors. It is sturdy and long-lasting. It is a great insulator and sound barrier. Solid core doors are built using plywood or molded composite exterior and a wood-fiber interior. They feel and look like solid wood doors but they have a tendency to expand or contract due to heat or moisture.

Lastly, the hollow core is the least expensive type and is constructed from a wooden frame, hardwood, or plywood surface and filled with rigid cardboard. They are not as durable but they do not warp with humidity.

Advantages of solid wood

Insulation: compared to other materials and wood door types, solid wood doors provide better insulation and will keep rooms hot or cool as needed especially if it is framed well. They can also substantially cut down travelling sound.

Security: burglars will also find it more difficult to break into homes with solid doors. This is a good reason to use them for your exterior door. Solid wood doors also provide better resistance to fire.

Strength: a good quality solid wood door should not chip or crack, or dent in time especially with a good set of hinges.

Related Post: How To Restore a Wood Door

How to tell if a door is a solid wood

  • Check the weight. Solid wood doors are about 50 percent heavier than hollow core doors. Hollow core doors are about 25 to 30 pounds heavy.
  • Look at the finish. Hollow core doors are often painted than stained. Factories often stain solid wood doors than paint them.
  • Examine the paneling. If the door has paneling, it should be real and detailed. Hollow core doors are often built with faux panels.  
  • Check the condition. Solid core doors are sturdy and can last for many years.
  • Check the price. In most cases, solid wood doors cost more than engineered one, but this lies in the timber used. The best solid woods are those made from expensive hardwood such as oak that require a thick amount of wood.

Doors are a significant component of a home or building. They are essential to privacy and security and must serve their purpose. Solid wood doors have their advantages, the reason why it could cost more than the other types of wood doors. However, you must be careful when buying solid wood doors because some companies just label them as solid wood doors even if they are not. It pays to know the difference between solid wood, solid core, and hollow core so you will not be deceived.

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